Snow crime

In the Seattle area, school officials treat throwing a snowball — not just an iceball — like throwing a rock.

Julie Miles has two kids at A.G. Bell Elementary in Kirkland, a school with a zero tolerance for snowballs. Students there say they were told they can’t even touch the snow, much less pack and hurl it.

“I think it is really sad,” Miles said. “Kids have a blast in the snow. I understand that it is a safety issue, but they could monitor them while they play. My children are from Montana; they think it is silly.

Meanwhile, police are considering arresting a local man for reckless sledding.

Update: Mike Daley writes that times have changed.

In the Winter of ’48 at Olympic Heights Elementary school, (Seattle, WA), a
newly arrived CA first grader got his 1st exposure to snow.  Said new found
product was then used to hit female classmates with snow balls.  Teacher, on
observing this unwarranted attack, stopped me from additional snowballs with
an admonition to the effect that one doesn’t throw snowballs at girls and a
much better target would be the 2nd and 3rd grade males close by. Point was well taken.

I myself remember the snowball ambush site by the crab apple trees on the way home from school. Everyone was fair game, but iceballs were considered unsporting.

About Joanne


  1. It sounds stupid, but the problem is some troublemakers might hide rocks inside of snowballs and cause real damage. My middle school had a tradition of shaving cream fights on the last day of school, where students threw balls of shaving cream at each other. The practice got shut down because rocks were being hidden inside the shaving cream. It’s sad that what’s innocent fun has to be taken away, but it could be just as much (some of) the students’ fault as lawsuit-fearing administrators’.

  2. This is just more silliness. Of course someone can put a rock in a snow or shaving cream ball, but so what. Punish the evildoers, not the innocent.

    What do kids do for play anymore? Walk around the playground in single file?

  3. The school has most likely gotten tired of having lawsuits up the ying-yang

    Some idiots spoiling everything for everybody else

  4. Ricard Brandshaft says:

    Sledding into a street is reckless. A driver could have swerved to avoid him and caused an accident. Furthermore, loosing control is a predictable consequence of sledding; you should check out where you will go if the sled gets away from you before you start.

  5. The kids aren’t allowed to pick up and throw the snow where I teach, either. It’s too easy for bullies to take advantage of smaller kids by “having some fun” with them, and even among friends you’re more likely to see the fight end with a fall to the pavement or an ice chunk cutting someone’s eye than with a friendly recap of the event over hot chocolate.
    Plus,there’s the innocent bystander problem. Our school enforces a pretty simple concept…if you don’t want to be hit with flying objects, you shouldn’t have to be. Equating this sort of rule with cases of kids getting busted for carrying aspirin or drawing pictures of knives is off base.

  6. Caffeinated Curmudgeon says:

    Next they’ll ban Thomas’ “A Child’s Chrismas in Wales” because it subversively treats throwning snowballs as child’s play.


  7. This is embarrassing. That’s my school district. I did vote against at least one incumbent on the school board last November. I think I will email the head and see whether I can get a response.